That means it is the last day of Autism Awareness Month. Well, I wonder just how many more people are aware of autism on the 30th April than there were aware on the April fools day? Sad to say that here in Great Britain it is probably very few since the whole of the media has turned itself over to politics and the general election.
There have been a few documentaries on TV around the subject of autism, but unless you already had an interest in the subject you probably wouldn't bother and quickly seek out the channel with the most entertaining film, drama, crime series, sci fi show or whatever to watch, or in my case, to go to sleep to! There has been the odd reference to autism on the radio, but they seem to be in passing and not really anything to do with autism awareness month. It's politics all the way.
I had considered posting a blog specifically on the advantages of an autism awareness month but it occurred to me that I would only be talking to people who are already aware, so not much point really, especially as, as I mentioned earlier, there is a general election in the offing and that is taking up a hell of of lot of time and space!
Those who have strayed into these posts before will know that I am a socialist, I know that is a bit out of style and possibly offensive to some, so I've toned it down a bit and joined the Labour Party. No, really, I have, I've got a membership card and everything. There are two main reasons for nailing my colours to the mast..
Firstly we live in a part of the South Wales Valleys decimated by Margaret Thatcher in the 80's. Whole communities destroyed in her dream of 'No society'. One can't help wondering what the thinking is behind Cameron's 'Big society', I've got a sinking feeling that that they are just different faces on the same coin, and the coin will end up in the pockets of the already prosperous leaving the people at the bottom and in most need with even less. Which leads to my second reason..
The NHS and Social Services. Social care. We all know we are facing cuts in services whoever is in charge because there is global financial upheaval due to the greed and total disregard of anyone but themselves by international financiers and bankers, who if they know of the existence of the NHS and Social Services would probably not understand its importance or approve. They rake in their bonuses and don't give a second thought to anyone but themselves, people with obscene amounts of money will not be affected by government cuts. The people who will be affected are those who depend upon the NHS and Social Services, not only for the services they provide, but there will be inevitable job losses, and there begins an ever decreasing circle.
Ok, enough to say I have a personal axe to grind, we had a small craft business that went to the wall during the last tory government, but it wasn't their fault our first daughter was born in 1985 with autism.
We effectively gave up everything for her, moving to South Wales because a more compassionate political climate in education there meant she did not have to go into a residential school at the age of 5, and her education and welfare could not have been any better served, and we managed to keep her at home and not loose her to an institution, which, by the way, would have almost certainly happened in the tory heartland we were living in when she was diagnosed.
Back to autism awareness, how unfortunate that an election was called right now. This whole month has been dominated by politics and all the bluster that goes with it. I have been seeing things about autism from all the usual suspects on line, lots of stuff on twitter and facebook, I'm ashamed to say I've hardly looked at it, I've been too busy dealing with autism at the coal face so to speak, the first half of this month was a bit dodgy, but glad to report that the last week has been amazing. A fortnight ago we had screaming and violent tantrums, this week we are discussing the size of her fathers belly and what we should do to reduce it, that colouring by number books are pretty cool and the relative merits of decent coloured pencils as opposed to felt tips. She has also confirmed that homemade fishcakes are better than the ones you buy in Asda (Oh yes! I'm good!). She also just indicated to us that she is very fond of the Scaramouche part of the Bohemian Rhapsody, strange girl.
So I'm aware of autism, so are you if you are reading this, all the politicians I've been sending emails to about Autism Awareness, Stand up For Autism and the Don't Write Me Off campaign who have bothered to respond say they are aware, after the ear splitting screams Sarah was practicing last week, most of our neighbourhood are aware! Even our dog is aware, although if it's possible, I suspect she's somewhere on the spectrum too!
My apologies to anyone who is opposed to my political views, but they are my views and this is my blog, so I'm allowed to say Vote Labour if you want a better chance of hanging on to the social care system that we have in place, if the tories get their hands on it the chances are it will be destroyed, and if you are at all aware of autism you will know how vital social care is.
On a lighter note, this has just been brought to my attention, are you aware that we have Star Trek day to look forward to before the election...May the 4th be with you..... and don't forget to go and vote on the 6th, women threw themselves under horses to get the vote, now that's what you call activism, we could do with a few more Pankhurst types standing up for Autism Awareness!